Seu Jorge has always put artistic freedom first. His extraordinary story spans theatre projects in Rio’s favelas, movie acting (as Knockout Ned in Fernando Meirelles’ City Of God, and with Bill Murray in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic) and of course, becoming one of Brazil’s best known singers. The man happens to have samba’s most soulful voice. But as he proved with his celebrated album of David Bowie covers – the soundtrack to The Life Aquatic – he can pour that rich baritone into all kinds of music and utterly own it.
This brand new project is steeped in that smoky, soul-piercing voice, but it’s also about a band: Almaz. That spontaneous, relaxed vibe flows throughout the record, and it also lives in the repertoire – each musician freely choosing songs which inspire them. “The only leader here is the music” says Jorge. The tracklist lays out twelve new versions of songs by twelve different songwriters, songs they love from Brazil, America and Europe. From Jorge Ben and Michael Jackson to Kraftwerk, Tim Maia and Roy Ayers, mixing samba, soul and rock, hits and obscurities, like spinning the dial on a dream radio.